Location within Mali
|• Total||170,572 km2 (65,858 sq mi)|
|Population (2009 census)|
|• Density||3.2/km2 (8.3/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC (UTC±0)|
The Gao Region is located in northeastern Mali. The capital city is Gao. The region is bordered to the north by Kidal Region, to the west by Tombouctou Region, and to the east and most of the south by Niger, with a very small portion of the southern border shared with Burkina Faso. Common ethnicities in the Gao Region include the Songhai, Bozo, Tuareg, Bambara, and Kounta. The towns include Gao, Bourem, and Bamba.
The Gao Region is part of Azawad, the northern part of Mali that was separated and declared independent by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) during the Tuareg rebellion of 2012. After the 1st Battle of Gao, the MNLA lost their control of the territory to Islamist militias. Several other battles have taken place in the region during the war, particularly in the city of Gao itself.
|Cercle name||Area (km2)||Population
Gao Region formerly comprised the entire eastern portion of the country, east of Tombouctou Region. However, in 1991 the northern half of Gao Region was separated off to become the new Kidal Region.
- Schéma Régional d’Aménagement et de Développement de la Région de Gao (in French), Assemblée Regionale, Région de Gao, République du Mali, 2008.
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